A tease from Research@Intel Day

Subject: General Tech | June 7, 2011 - 12:52 PM |
Tagged: Intel, Research@Intel Day, CMOS

Intel has been obsessed with shrinking all of their processes recently, be it flash storage or their processors and the basic transistor inside their CPUs.  They have a new success story that they will be sharing during their Research@Intel Day, they are the first to shrink their analog CMOS technology below 65nm.  The new process will be 32nm, the same process as their current CPU generation which brings several benefits but the most important one being that they can move that circuitry directly onto the same die as the digital circuitry.  Read more at SemiAccurate.

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"It’s June and for those of you following the computing industry you know that Intel is having its yearly Research Day. This year Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) shows off about 40 different research projects – and we will dig more into them tomorrow after the doors have opened.

However, we thought that you should have a sneak peek at one of the most interesting research projects: 32nm analog CMOS design."

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Source: SemiAccurate

A keyboard for the terminally paranoid

Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2011 - 03:10 PM |
Tagged: input, secure wireless, aes-128, keyboard

Wireless connections are convenient, as anyone who has dealt with well tangled cords and wires can attest to.  The downside is that without proper setup they are incredibly insecure and can still be vulernable to certain attacks even when properly secured.  One particular vulnerabillty of wireless connections that tends to be missed completely is wireless peripherals, especially the keyboard.  What use securing your WiFi when your keyboard is broadcasting everything you type, up to an including passwords, in plain unencrypted text.  tbreak examines the Microsoft Wireless Keyboard with AES-128 encryption, perfect for securing yet another attack vector on your PC. 

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"Do you feel insecure when you press keystrokes on your current wireless keyboard, some one might capture them and find out what passwords or other information you are typing? Then Microsoft has just announced a brand new wireless keyboard and mouse for you. It sends all wireless keystrokes and mouse clicks with AES 128-bit encryption."

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Source: tbreak

... but NVIDIA, how can we have fun with Microsoft always staring at us like that?

Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2011 - 11:52 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, microsoft, lawyers

It turns out that while NVIDIA did not quite sell its soul to get its GPU into the first XBox, it did give up its right to go out unchaperoned.  As part of the deal Microsoft can block any large purchase of NVIDIA shares by another company.  If a company tries to purchase 30% or more of NVIDIA's shares then had and still has Microsoft has the right to put kybosh on the deal.  A decade ago when the deal was first inked the agreement would have made a lot of sense to Microsoft; they were going to depend on NVIDIA's GPU and did not want to have another company buy a majority share in NVIDIA to get a grip on Microsoft's new gaming console.  This deal makes NVIDIA rather unattractive to many companies as the investment of time and money necessary to set up a large deal could be utterly wasted if Microsoft decides it doesn't like the look of NVIDIA's new bedmate.  The Inquirer has more here, and are currently awaiting a response to the article from Microsoft.

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"AN UNLIKELY BETROTHAL between Microsoft and Nvidia has been uncovered that gives Microsoft the right of first and last refusal to buy Nvidia.

Microsoft entered into an agreement with Nvidia back in 2000 when the chip design outfit was brought in to work on the GPU of what would then become Microsoft's Xbox. That in itself isn't particularly surprising, but Information Week dug up a 10K filing with the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) in which Nvidia reported that Microsoft had first and last rights of refusal should a third party make an offer to buy 30 per cent or more of Nvidia's shares."

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Source: The Inquirer

Thermaltake Level 10 GT White, Frio GT and BigWater coolers and USB Power Strip

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | June 4, 2011 - 11:28 PM |
Tagged: computex, thermaltake, frio, level 10, power strip

Thermaltake had its standard booth array of cases, coolers, keyboards, mice, headphones, etc but also had some new items to show us when we stopped by.  The first was a new "Snow Edition" of the Level 10 GT chassis we reviewed back in April.

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The case remains mostly unchanged with some USB 3.0 ports up front, 5 "EasySwap" HDD bays and room for some very long graphics cards.  The white color is not paint but rather plastic injected so you won't have to worry about the paint scratching off. 

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Next up is the Frio GT CPU cooler - yes the above image is showing you a freaking CPU COOLER.  It supports up to 300 watts of cooling and does so with an enormous amount of heatpipes, fins and airflow.  This cooler will be available in Q4 and should cost you under $100.

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Under the two big collections of fins you can see the heatpipes that move the energy from the CPU cores.  Obviously you are going to need to check out your case and motherboard dimensions before picking up a cooler like this as I imagine there are going to be quite a few configurations that are incompatible. 

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Thermaltake is also going into the self-contained water cooling direction as well with the internally designed and built BigWater A80.  Thermaltake claims this device will get better results than the competition by including some interesting airflow modifications.  Expect this to be very price competitive and be available in Q3.

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A big surprise at the booth was new USB-controlled power strip called the "Wireless USB Control Series".  Besides offering some convenient USB outlets directly on the power strip, this surge protector also has a USB powered remote control that will turn on and off the "Energy Saver" ports with the push of a button.

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The remote sits in a little stand on top of your desk so you can power offer your display, printer or other devices all at once and without reaching behind anything.  For those of you that want to go green then this will allow you to do so for a modest cost of $30-40 later this year.

Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

Source: Thermaltake

Happy 50th Birthday Larry Lessig

Subject: General Tech | June 3, 2011 - 06:37 PM |
Tagged: PC Perspective Forums, friday

There is no giving up in the PC Perspective Forums, a member may have just had a medically licensed vacuum cleaner suck out the contents of their wallet and when trying to relax in front of the PC afterwards found a dead monitor awaiting them instead of the comfort they were looking for; they do not give up.  Instead like the dedicated enthusiast that we all are, the PC was disassembled to find the root of the cause, in this case a PSU with bulging capacitors, and then they posted to our forums which has gathered several informative replies on how to properly replace the bad caps.  You can also take inspiration from this member who is still working with an old Biostar board based on the nForce750a chipset or from this member who is trying to determine if their screen is broken or if it is their GPU that is to blame. 

Perhaps less frustrating than serious PC problems, it could still be quite upsetting to find out your PC can't handle the bandwidth demanded by your new Blu-ray player or the hurdles of installing your OS on an SDD for the first time (OK, less hurdle and more hurtle)  or even deciding whether it is worth using 4 DIMMs yet or not.  Those type of decisions provide a lot of meat for our forums, be it deciding between a Core i3 or a Phenom II or even which software is best for testing stability.

You will be glad to hear Ryan took the time off during Computex to attend PC Perspective Podcast #157; though it turns out he and Ken aren't the only PCPer's there.

Take a virtual walk through Computex 2011

Subject: General Tech | June 3, 2011 - 11:40 AM |
Tagged: computex

Since we can't all attend Computex 2011 in the flesh we have to content ourselves with what is posted on the web.  Ryan and Ken are representing PC Perspective over in Taipei and all of their coverage can be found on this handy page

They are not alone over there, for instance The Tech Report have been hard at work posting the most interesting things they saw.  The content includes updates from hardware vendors like Kingston and Patriot's SATA 6G SSDs and mITX Z68 boards from Zotac and ASUS' new hybrid tablets and mini Eee netbooks.  On the software sided a company called Imagination Tech has made it possible to support DirectX on ARM and tablets, Lucid has changed V-Sync forever and Microsoft has been showing off Windows 8.  That only scratches the surface of their coverage, which will give you something to read while you wait for Ryan to wake up and post more news.

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"With staffers both on the show floor and back at home watching things from afar, we've produced some fairly exhaustive Computex coverage this week. Here's a handy list of the highlights, from major announcements like Microsoft's Windows 8 reveal to geekier developments like Lucid's work on Virtu for AMD platforms."

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Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

This Parrot doesn't need a million volts to Vooooom; wireless speakers for your iThing

Subject: General Tech | June 2, 2011 - 12:27 PM |
Tagged: audio, wireless audio, ithing, starck

The Parrot Zikmu by Starck (not affiliated with Stark Enterprises) is apparently for the serious audiophile as they seem to be 1600 of whatever your local dollar equivalent is.  You are probably asking yourself why you would possibly want to spend that much money on a pair of WiFi/Bluetooth speakers with a built in iThing/A2DP smartphone dock and that is perfectly understandable.  The design of the speakers allows for 360o sound, which results in the lack of a single sweet spot for these speakers.  Instead no matter where in a room you are in relation to the speakers, you will be in the sweet spot.  t-break describes them as being worth every penny, so head over to check them out even if you'd never spend that amount of money on a speaker system.

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"The Parrot Zikmu, or Parrot by Starck as they’re more commonly referred to as, are a pair of wireless stereo loudspeakers that you can connect to via Bluetooth and WiFi. Designed to be used primarily for your iPhone and iPods, the Zikmu can be connected to any Bluetooth capable smartphone using A2DP, as well as Macs and PCs through WiFi. Don’t get scared by the price yet, let me tell you why they’re actually worth it."

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Source: tbreak

Windows 8 isn't ready for a private viewing but will do a floor show

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 2, 2011 - 11:59 AM |
Tagged: windows 8, computex

 There is a lot of buzz after the unveiling of Window 8 to a select few at Computex.  VR-Zone has a nice series of pictures as well as about 20 minutes of video footage from the preview event.  AnandTech focused on the ARM version and the new filesystem, while Engadget were content to delve even deeper into the ARM support offered by Win8.  ExtremeTech was more interested in the browser side, examining IE10 and the future Java and HTML5 as well as looking at the touch interface abilities.

Remember to catch all of our Computex content by following the Computex tag!

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"VR-Zone was in attendance for this historic Windows 8 unveiling event to selected partners and press at W Hotel Taipei, COMPUTEX 2011. Microsoft showed off its new Windows 8 UI design and a few x86/ARM prototype devices from its partners."

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Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

Source: VR-Zone

Podcast #157 - OCZ Agility 3 SSD, Lucid Virtu Universal, new ROG Motherboards and more from Computex 2011!

Subject: General Tech | June 2, 2011 - 05:55 AM |
Tagged: ssd, ROG, podcast, ocz, msi, asus

PC Perspective Podcast #157- 6/02/2011

This week we talk about the OCZ Agility 3 SSD, Lucid Virtu Universal, new Asus ROG Motherboards and GTX580s, and more from Computex 2011!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 56:49

Program Schedule:

 

Source: PCPer

Can Kerrigan and Raynor reconcile their differences and get back together? Tune in for the next episode.

Subject: General Tech | June 1, 2011 - 12:51 PM |
Tagged: gaming, starcraft 2

We can now see a 1:29 long preview of StarCraft II : Heart of the Swarm at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN.  In it we learn about evolving Banelings and Zerglings, the importance of Yeti DNA and the apparent focus on heros and their upgradability.  What is not clear is who you will be playing; Kerrigan building a reformed swarm, Raynor and his marines squashing bugs and Eldar wannabes or maybe even Nova and her ghosts?  Maybe you play all three, building up and defending a base in one mission and destroying it in another?   Check the video in HD to get the most of the sneak peek.

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"Following last week’s leaked cinematic teaser we now have some actual footage of Starcraft II’s second episode in action, and you can check that out below. We’re expecting the game itself to turn up in the first half of next year, and it could be a rather different hero-focused experience, if the previews are anything to go by. Which I guess they must be, since they’re about the game and all.

It’s no Men Of War."

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